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Electronic Health Records

Stethoscope PC3(March 14, 2012)

Electronic Health Records are a new technology that will soon be nearly universal in the United States. But a watchdog group says they need some fine tuning first.

CU logoElectronic Health Records are being strongly promoted as something every patient should have within the next few years. But as this new technology becomes widespread, there are some important ideas and functions it needs to incorporate. Some of these have been enumerated in the nine principles for electronic health information exchange that have been developed by Consumers Union and a host of other organizations concerned with patients rights, consumers rights and civil rights. Mark Savage, a senior attorney with Consumers Union, explains that one of those principles is "universal design."


Even with the shortcomings that the principles have been designed to address, Savage says that electronic medical records already represent a big advance over the analog version—paper.





Health Physics

HPS logo(February 14, 2012)

Health physics is a field that concentrates on using radiation safely. That can include everything from inspection nuclear weapons test sites to recovering unused medical equipment in developing countries. It may not be a well-known career area, but it's growing.

Mac KenzieAs a Health Physicist, Carolyn Mac Kenzie holds a job that most people never heard of. Yet it is one she sees as increasingly important in the 21st century.

bookcoverNuclear power generation may be the most visible application of atomic technology, but there are thousands of other uses for radioactive materials, Mac Kenzie explains, from university research to industrial applications and more.

Mac Kenzie visited Sonoma State University Monday, where she was a featured speaker in the "What Physicists Do" lecture series.




Thyroid Health

thyroid(January 12, 2012)

Too much or too little hormone output from your thyroid gland can cause or
contribute to a lengthy list of health problems. Yet these imbalances are often overlooked.

Thyroid-Mind-PowerIt can be tricky knowing whether or not your thyroid is out of balance, says Dr. Richard Shames. Even the medical community not all on the same page about what normal levels of the hormone should be.

Many of the symptoms caused by thyroid imbalance mimic natural aging, Dr. Shames adds. But they're not the same thing.






Children's Dental Health

boy-checkup(December 9, 2011)

The number one chronic health problem affecting young children isn't something they can be vaccinated for, but it can be readily prevented. It's... tooth decay.

decayPutting children to bed with a bottle is the leading cause of tooth decay in kids under five years old.Two local groups have formed to work on answers to this problem, the Sonoma County Task Force on Oral Health and the Sonoma County Oral Health Access Coalition. Debra Chigazola, coordinator of the Dental Hygiene Program at Santa Rosa Junior College, observes that they are both working to increase to have more children—and their teeth—get examined.

child oral_health_p_29A more complicated goal, Chigazola adds, is getting more children enrolled in the publically funded dental care programs that already exist.